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Action recommended against five cops for aiding land mafia

LAHORE: An inquiry panel comprising senior police officers has recommended disciplinary action against five officers, including a superintendent of police (SP), for patronising land mafia.

The five officers have been accused of depriving an overseas Pakistani of his property and facilitating land grabbers to occupy it. The 22-kanal piece of land was located on Multan Road currently serving as a warehouse.

Headed by Additional Inspector General of Police (Investigation) Abubakar Khuda Bakhsh, the panel consists of SP (Admin) Chaudhry Liaquat and Deputy Superintendent of Police (Investigation) Khalid Abubakar.

In a report, a copy of which is available with Dawn, submitted to Inspector General of Police (IGP) Amjad Javed Saleemi, the inquiry panel held City SP Maaz Zafar – who was posted as Sadar SP (operations) when the case was initiated in July 2018, Sundar SHO Inspector Sanaullah, sub-inspectors Mohammad Amin and Amish and the SP’s personal staff officer, Assistant Sub-Inspector Shahbaz Lashari, guilty of charges levelled by overseas Pakistani Shahid Javed Malik, a resident of Defence, Lahore.

The police officers, however, rejected and challenged the inquiry report, claiming that the panel had blatantly ignored facts.

“We have challenged the inquiry report by filing an application with the IGP requesting him to have the inquiry conducted afresh by any other suitable senior police officer in Central Police Office,” said SP Zafar.

Talking to Dawn, he said the matter had already been probed separately by senior police officers, including the then VVIP senior superintendent of police (SSP) Rana Tahir, Dolphin Squad SP Nadeem Khokhar and SSP (Operations) Asad Sarfaraz. Similarly, he said, an inquiry had also been conducted by the Intelligence Bureau.

He said the allegations levelled by the complainant had been proved false and fabricated in the two inquiries. Mr Malik had a property dispute with his brothers since 1984 and both the parties had got several criminal cases registered against each other, he claimed.

“The complainant has been filing complaints against me to exert pressure on me to settle the property dispute in his favour,” the SP alleged.

On the other hand, Mr Malik in his complaint alleged that he was the sole owner of 22 kanal out of the 161 kanal inherited from his parents. He held its possession from day one and as its price escalated, his brothers influenced police officers to grab it illegally. Settled abroad since 1980, he would come to Pakistan to look after his property to save it from land grabbers, he claimed.

Mr Malik claimed that while he was abroad, SP Zafar, during his posting as Sadar SP last year, implicated his employees in fabricated cases and helped the expat’s brothers and two land grabbers occupy his land illegally.

The inquiry panel grilled several senior police officers, including former Sadar SP Umar Farooq, the SSP (operations), the Mobile Squad SP, former SHOs of the police station concerned and other officials. It found the allegations true and that Malik was the sole owner of the property and occupied it legally.

It recommended that Zafar with the connivance of his four subordinates, including the SHO, helped the land grabbers occupy the property illegally. The panel report concluded that the police officers blatantly misused their authority, and recommendations were being sent to initiate strict disciplinary/departmental action against them.

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